If you’re a junior in high school, the reality of applying to college may be starting to sink in. Standardized tests. Teacher recommendations. Essays. Transcripts. The list goes on! But instead of feeling overwhelmed by those things, what if you had a head start? The College Prep Scholars Program can give you just that.
We could go on about the program’s many awards and opportunities (all-expense-paid campus visits, anyone?), but we thought you should hear straight from College Prep Scholars themselves:
“Getting accepted to the College Prep Scholars Program boosted my confidence because I realized that someone else believes that I am a competitive applicant. As a College Prep Scholar, I learned tips on how to improve my writing skills and how I can use my story to strengthen my college application.
– Emmanuel S., 2017 College Prep Scholar, Dartmouth ’22
The world is your oyster! This is an exciting time of the holiday season as you finalize your early and regular decision applications to the colleges on your list. The even better part? You’ve already finished 90 percent of the work. You wrote your essays, contacted teachers for letters of recommendation, took your exams, and filled out financial aid information. That’s a ton of work to celebrate. Think about the pieces of applying to and going to college that are important to you: size, location, academics, test optional, etc. The QuestBridge partners are all different institutions that offer different opportunities—and we are all excited to admit more QuestBridge Scholars in early and regular application rounds and to learn more about you. It’s a chance for you to let us know that you’re as interested in us as we are in you.Continue reading →
This year’s National College Match was the biggest yet, with 5,759 students selected as Finalists and 918 students matched with our college partners! These record-breaking numbers mean that more students than ever before have been awarded full four-year scholarships. Their stories always inspire and amaze us, and as we look back at the year, we wanted to share some reactions from recently matched students.Continue reading →
QuestBridge Regular Decision is a unique opportunity to apply to QuestBridge college partners after the National College Match. This means that students who did not match or who did not participate in rankings can still apply—and be admitted!—to any of our college partners. You can select schools you’d like to apply to on your QuestBridge Regular Decision Form from November 6 to December 11.
Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of applying through QuestBridge Regular Decision:Continue reading →
It’s that time of year again to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (better known as the FAFSA). For many of you, this may be the first time you start treading into the uncharted waters of financial aid. While the FAFSA may seem daunting, the task can easily be broken down into steps … although it may be many, many, steps. But fear not, you can triumph this great feat.
Here are some reminders, tips, and advice for approaching the financial aid application process. Continue reading →
On the first day of my visit to Carleton College on Accepted Students Weekend, I felt like I was on a reality show. I was one of dozens of accepted students, sitting in a large auditorium, waiting for my name to be called by one of the hosts. Whoever would call my name would give me their personal tour of Carleton, clear out a space in their dorm for me to sleep, and shape my perception of the school. Finally my name was called by Sasha, a freshman Quest Scholar at the time.
Sasha immediately made me feel comfortable; the pressure of the “Are You Ready To Be A Carl?” faded and I felt at ease. Having applied through QuestBridge to Carleton, I had dozens of questions: Should I consider non-QuestBridge schools? How will I know that this QuestBridge school is THE school? How do I weigh the importance of financial aid in my final decision? Sasha discussed her experience with the application process and answered even my most trivial questions. Besides mitigating the stress of the decision process, Sasha enabled me to fall in love with Carleton.
In the evening, Sasha invited me to follow her to an Ebony practice, one of Carleton’s dance performance groups, open to dancers with two left feet, two right feet, or one of each. I sat in the front of the dance room with other accepted students and watched all of the Carls dance to Lady Gaga. Some Carls were on beat, confident in every move they made; others were lost two measures behind, hysterically laughing, making enthusiastic faces to compensate for their dancing. Carleton’s personality shone through ten times more than it had on the classic tours, the information sessions, and the student panels of other schools. And I adored its personality.
Before coming to Carleton, I didn’t quite understand what it meant to be a Quest Scholar once on a campus. Sasha showed me that it means you are finally allowed to dance; the stress of college applications and financial aid forms were over. As a Quest Scholar, you finally are given four years, at an amazing school, to spend dancing.
Live off campus with friends. Living on campus is a great way to make friends your first year at school and eases the transition from home. You don’t have to clean your bathroom or make your own meals and you get to live with your classmates. However, as a third or fourth year, living in a house with friends sounds ideal. I can imagine cooking dinner at night and sitting on the porch in the evenings doing readings together; it would be lovely.
Study abroad. Between high school and college I took a gap year through Global Citizen Year and lived in Senegal for eight months. The program was oriented towards cultural immersion rather than education per se. Since then I’ve been itching to go abroad again. I would love to spend my third year in another country studying.
Be an SA. Getting involved is important in high school, but somehow feels more significant in college. SA stands for Student Advisor at Grinnell. They are the two 4th years assigned to each dorm floor who are in charge of the residents on that floor. But unlike other schools, they’re not disciplinary. They’re just there to help in any way you need and make you pancakes on Sunday mornings.
Have a meaningful summer internship. Internships allow you to experience the work market in an impermanent, less scary way than your first post-graduation job. You get to test out what you might be interested in pursuing down the line, but whether you like it or not, it only lasts a few months.
Visit a friend at his/her school. Why not visit your friends where they go to school? Colleges are not all the same. It will help you to understand what environment they’re experiencing and for you to put your perspective on your school into context.
Play a sport. I miss playing tennis. I played in high school and then didn’t play over my gap year because, well, Senegal doesn’t have many tennis courts. I then decided to ease into college by not committing 3 hours a day away to tennis in the fall and spring. While I think it was a wise decision for my first year, I cannot wait to play next year. Athletes do an amazing job balancing academics and their sport. I want to see if I can do it too.